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Three Mass. Small Businesses Get EPA Funding to Develop Environmental Technologies

Release Date: 05/24/2011
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – May 24, 2011) – Three small businesses in Massachusetts are receiving funds from EPA to help efforts to develop new technologies that will protect the environment and public health. EPA is providing more than $454,000 between the projects for projects that are intended to promote clean air and clean drinking water. The three Mass. projects are among 10 selected nationwide, totaling nearly $2.25 million.

Earlier this year, the companies received "proof of concept" awards from EPA through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.  The companies will use the EPA funds to move their technologies towards commercialization and implementation. 

The three Massachusetts companies, and their SBIR-award winning projects are:

- Aspen Products Group, Inc. of Marlborough, which is working to develop a simple, effective, retrofittable and low-cost approach to mitigating fine particulate and VOC emissions from cooking sources (i.e., reducing hazardous air pollutant emissions from commercial kitchens). The total award for this project is $295,000. 

- OPTRA Inc. of Topsfield, which is working to develop a “Fourier Transform Infrared Phase Shift Cavity Ring Down Spectrometer” for high sensitivity detection of air toxic compounds. This award is for $79,638.

- Reactive Innovations, LLC of Littleton, is developing an “advanced contaminant inactivation system” to improve drinking water disinfection systems available for small communities.  This project has been awarded $79,994.

“This EPA funding will help Massachusetts companies develop cutting-edge solutions to continuing environmental concerns, and help create good-paying local jobs at the same time,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. 

Each year, the EPA’s SBIR program gives small businesses the opportunity to compete for funds to develop technology addressing key environmental areas, such as green building, innovation in manufacturing, nanotechnology, greenhouse gases, drinking water monitoring and treatment, wastewater and sustainable infrastructure, air pollution monitoring and control, biofuels, waste monitoring and management, and homeland security.

Other winners this year include small businesses in California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and New Mexico. Other innovative projects include reducing toxic chemicals from landfills, producing an environmentally friendly adhesive, reducing methane emissions by converting dilute methane waste gas streams into useful fuel, and designing a real-time environmental water monitoring sensor.

There are approximately 25 million small businesses in the U.S. today. As the leading source of employment growth, these firms have generated 60 to 80 percent of new jobs over the past decade and are responsible for developing most of the country’s new technologies. To be eligible to participate in the SBIR program, a company must be an organized, for-profit U.S. business and have fewer than 500 employees.

More information:

- 2011 SBIR project awardees and project abstracts (http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/outlinks.sbir/fullList/Yes/showYear/current )

- EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program (http://www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir)

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